40 Lure Mods To Catch More Fish40 Lure Mods To Catch More Fish Forty things you can try that will change the sound, action, profile, or flash of your lures. Give some of them a try.
By M. L. Anderson
Alabama angler Eddie Johns has been fishing bass tournaments, keeping a log, and teaching bass fishing for decades. Over the years he’s learned a lot of tricks – bass fishermen are constantly tinkering with their baits, and Eddie is no exception. Some modifications are tiny – add some color with dye, for example. But other modifications I’ve heard of over the years became famous money-makers: remember when somebody shaved the bottom lip on a Pop-R? Sometimes a tiny change in sound or appearance is all it takes to get the fish to bite. So Eddie shared forty ways to change up your baits with BassResource readers.
- Flatten your bullet sinker with a hammer so you can skip it under docks and overhanging branches more easily. It’s cheaper than buying special skipping weights, plus you can get it a lot flatter. Insert a toothpick before smacking it to keep the hole from closing, and make sure to check the edges of the hole to make sure there are no sharp edges that could cut your line.
- Use a razor blade or scalpel to slice a curled tail into several thin ribbons for extra action.
- Push your worm up over the eye of the hook when you rig it, and insert a toothpick, rubber nail, or a short length of big salt water mono through worm and eye to make it stay up better. Eddie swears by Trapper hooks to really keep the fish on, and if the worm gets a little torn up by weeds or something, he can often mend it by melting it slightly with a lighter.
- Add a spinnerbait blade to the hook when you’re fishing a worm. Put it on the hook with the swivel and all, and keep it in place with a bit of rubber tubing, a piece of cork, etc. This adds flash and sound to Texas rigs, etc.
- Add a float to your line – it picks the worm up and holds it in place. This is particularly good under docks and such – you can also see when you’ve got a bite.
- In the spring, Eddie likes to add a stinger hook to his worms. Tie your worm hook on, and leave a long tag end. Rig your worm, then measure out on the line where you want the stinger to be: near the tail of the worm. Tie on a little drop shot hook and hook it into the tail of the worm. No more short strikes or fish eating the tail and getting away!
- Put weights inside your worm. Thread your worm on a hook, but don’t turn it around to Texas rig it. Instead, slide it up the line, then cut the hook off while the worm is threaded on the line. Take some very small weights and slide them up the line and into the worm, then tie the hook back on. Texas rig as usual. This makes the worm go through weeds a grass a lot more easily and gives you a smooth, straight fall. Eddie says you’ll probably wreck a few worms practicing this one. He did.
- If your weight has a deep concave face, try gluing a tiny piece of spongy foam or felt to it. Apply scent to this – it lasts a lot longer.
Use an awl to poke some holes in a tube bait, then stuff a broken Alka Seltzer tablet in the tube and seal it with a piece of packing peanut or a cork disk. When it hits the water, it fizzes and bubbles and really gets attention.
- Put a spoon inside a tube bait – makes it get down quicker, and the tentacles hide the treble hook. A very small spoon can be used for a really subtle presentation.
- Use a piece of peanut packing foam inside a tube jig for Carolina rigs. Really makes it float up.
- Use a lighter to heat the collar on your jig just before you slide the plastic trailer on – it bonds the plastic and helps it stay on longer.
- Add a blade to your jig for sound and glitter – use a small Indiana blade and slide it on just before adding the trailer. This is especially good in spring and fall.
- For super slow rolling, flatten your spinnerbait blade with a hammer. This lets it give out plenty of flash and lots of action for a slow roll presentation.
- Add Ziptailz to your spinnerbaits to expand the skirt. Eddie uses mostly white spinnerbaits and adds color by adding Ziptails inside the skirts. Slide them clear up the hook so they’re right up against the head of the bait.
- File the edges of willow leaf blades to help them cut through grass.
- Take the cap from a Bic pen and cut it off so you’re left with just a plastic cone. Drill a hole in the tip, and take the blades off your spinnerbait. Slide the cone up the arm, pointy end first. When you put the blades back on, the cone covers the wire bend, swivel, split ring, etc., making it much easier to work through grass and over weeds and sticks. You can make the cone any size you need. Make it short enough to allow the blades to spin. This works for buzzbaits too.
- Add blades right on the line ahead of the spinnerbait for a sort of in-line A-rig effect. Use split rings so they can spin.
- Use wire from the craft store to add weight to the arm – the one that the actual bait body is on. Wrap the wire around the arm. You can add small weights to it, and the wire comes in colors as well. This adds weight so you can keep a small profile but still get the lure deeper or even slow-roll a tiny spinnerbait.
- Skipping baits is something not everyone can do, especially kids who are just learning to fish. Bend the eye of a crankbait to the side to make it veer off sideways under docks and piers.
- Take a jointed weight apart and add a worm hook to the joint in the middle. Add a nice plastic bait and you’ve got a swimming worm. You could also use half a swimbait.
- Use a swivel and clip for crankbaits to make it fast and easy to change baits. Check your line and re-tie as often as necessary. Eddie says he’s never lost a fish due to a swivel or snap failure.
- If you tie directly to your bait, use a loop knot to give it more action.
- Drill a hole in the lip and epoxy a small weight inside to make a plug run deeper.
- Drill holes in one side and add weights. When you stop cranking it will flop over on its side and look like a dead shad.
- Use a Dremel tool to sand the edges of the bill down for better action.
- Use a bullet weight on the line ahead of a crank to get it deeper – may affect the action somewhat.
- Use small split-shot weights on the hook shanks of a crankbait to make it suspend when you stop it.
- Put a very small Indiana blade on the back hook to add flash to a plug – use a split ring to add it to the eye of the hook.
- Hold the bait up and let the treble hooks hang. One hook on each treble will be pointing toward the head of the bait. Cut these ones off, and it will run through sticks and stuff a lot better without getting hung up so much.
- Put Ziptailz on the back hook to add action and color to a crankbait. They are designed to fit treble hooks or straight hooks.
- Add blades to frog legs – If you just want more action and not flash, paint them black.
- If you’re getting short strikes on a frog, switch to Ziptailz instead of the long fringe legs.
- Add or remove rattles from a hard topwater bait by drilling into it from the bottom.
- Wax your line to keep your lure higher and help it keep from tangling in the front hook. You can use a candle or a beeswax waxer from the sewing department. Put it on slowly to avoid burning your line. Just pull the line over the wax slowly. It will cut into the wax and get a coating as you continue to pull it through.
- Bend the arm on a buzzbait down so that the blade just ticks the other arm as you work it. Adds extra sound.
- If you rig a pair of double blades (not the three bladed ones) on a buzzbait and both blades are bent the same direction, it will run straight. If you rig them pointing in opposite directions, it will run to one side.
- Drill holes in your buzzbait blades to add bubbling action.
- Cut kids’ juice bags into narrow ,1/8-inch wide ribbons and glue them into your buzzbait skirts. They are very shiny on one side, plus they curl up – action and flash in one package.
- If you keep missing fish on a hard popper, slit a tube bait and slip it over the lure. The soft sides will encourage the fish to hang on.
So there you have it – forty things you can try that will change the sound, action, profile, or flash of your lures. Give some of them a try. If you’ve got some killer lure mods, leave us a comment – maybe there’s a future modification article we can use it in.
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